Renee Austin's Career Cut Short!
It is with a great deal of sadness that Blind Pig Records announces that Renee Austin is ending her burgeoning career as a singer. A paralyzed vocal chord has forced her to abandon her profession.
Austin's 2003 national debut CD, Sweet Talk, sparked critical raves and predictions of greatness, with many comparing her to Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. It also led to a "Best New Artist Debut" W.C. Handy nomination and a slot on the PBS-TV film entitled Blues Divas. Her second Blind Pig release, Right About Love, impressed critics with her stunning vocal dynamism, her passion, and her remarkable versatility. Again, many predicted her sassy "roadhouse soul" style of music would soon land her in the mainstream. As Harp magazine put it, "If talent still counts in the music biz, she'll be an established star."
Label executive Edward Chmelewski said, "We've been greatly impressed with Renee's immense talent since we first heard her. It's tragic that something like this occurs just as her career was taking off. We really feel for her and wish her the best. Besides being an incredibly gifted artist, she's a wonderful person who's been great to work with."
In an open letter to her fans and supporters, Austin broke the heart-rending news, "I want to start by thanking all of my friends, family, fellow musicians, and fans for all the love and support you have given me over the years. As most of you know I released my second CD with Blind Pig Records Right About Love on August 16th. It is a piece of me that I am very proud of and a culmination of lots of hard work from many people.
As some of you know I had to have surgery on September 13th to remove a lump on my thyroid gland. I feel blessed to be able to tell you that I am doing fine and the lump turned out to be cancer free. I regret to inform you all that as a result of the surgery my left vocal chord has been left paralyzed and is not working. The result of this is I can talk softly but I cannot sing.
In the last couple of weeks after lots of medical opinions and various hospital visits my condition has been diagnosed as likely permanent. This means that I probably will never be able to sing again. I am working hard with a speech therapist to see if I can beat the odds and God willing raise my voice in song once again someday. Until that time comes I must say goodbye to you all as a singer and thank you again for all of the love and support you have given me.
I thank God for the opportunities He gave me to live out my dream even if only for small window of time. I trust that He has a plan for my life and whatever that is, I will put my heart and soul into it just as I did my music.
From the bottom of my heart - please know I thank all of you for your kindness to me and I will remember it always. May God Bless each of you."